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Bobby Zamora hopes for England success

last updated Friday 11th November 2011, 12:33 PM

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora
Fulham striker
Bobby Zamora
Bobby Zamora
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora is hoping to stake his claim for a spot in England's Euro 2012 squad by featuring prominently in the Three Lions upcoming friendly matches.

The national side host Spain on Saturday at Wembley before welcoming Sweden on Tuesday to the same ground.

Zamora feels playing for England is like performing an audition and hopes his performances for club and country ensure him further squad security when Euro 2012 approaches.

"Every time I've been called up, I've felt it's an audition and an opportunity to prove myself with England," Zamora told his club's official website.

"I've been around the squad for the last year or so and I'm hoping now to prove what I can do. The gaffer has had other priorities up to now. He had to make decisions to make sure we qualified, and they've clearly proved to be the right decisions. They've got us there, job done.

"But the attitude does feel a bit different for these games. It's an opportunity. A tough one against Spain, for sure, because it wouldn't look as if they've got too many weaknesses at all. We'll find ourselves in the unusual position of being underdogs, which doesn't happen at Wembley very often. We'll have to tap into that, the underdog spirit.

"As for myself, I know the manager has lots of options up front, even with Wayne's suspension. Gabby [Agbonlahor] is back, Peter Crouch is not off the scene, and Jermain [Defoe] scored another instinctive one against us on Sunday, reminding the manager he's a goalscorer.

"There are people there desperate to play, so it's a case of making an impact if and when I get a chance. If I get that opportunity, I have to take it."

For his part, Zamora believes many of his more subtler qualities tend to go less noticed, like the unselfishness he believes is a hallmark of his play.

"Joe Public and probably 99.9% of the country would probably say: 'So and so's scored X number of goals, so he's a better player,'" Zamora explained. "But I recently asked the guys at ProZone what the stats were in terms of chances created and I was in the top six in the Premier League.

"That's a striker creating chances, not a midfielder or a winger crossing the ball. Clint Dempsey's always going on about the significance of assists - he would, it's an American thing after all - but I'm all for that.

"Let's get league tables of assists like we do for goals scored. Apparently I came away with the most assists at Fulham despite missing the majority of last season. People in the game might notice that more but I'll gladly hold the ball up and bring others into play."

If nothing else, Zamora is confident in his ability to become a mainstay in the England fold, particularly if, in his belief, people adopted a more balanced appreciation of his skills.

"Every time I've been called up to the England squad, whether I've played or not, I've come away thinking I can play at that level," the 30-year-old explained.

"I've proved that to myself in the training sessions we've had - it'd be mad if you didn't pick up bits and pieces working with Capello and the other lads - but people will only really accept me at the top if I do it on the pitch.

"If I'd gone to the World Cup and not been injured, maybe I would consider myself an international footballer now.

"As it is, I'm on the fringe still, waiting for the chance. But even that leaves me pinching myself.

"I've come a long way by a very different route to most, playing with Bristol Rovers and Brighton in the lower leagues, and I wouldn't change that at all.

"There are probably only 10 league clubs in the country where I haven't played, but that has made me more grounded and more appreciative of where I am today."

"Time is short and getting to Ukraine and Poland is the ultimate aim," he added. "That's the dream, something I'll work hard to achieve.

"A few goals, a few assists... Don't forget the assists. We need that Americanism in our game."

Source Nathan Lowe at Goal
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